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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Neutron noise monitoring during plant operation expedites flexure replacement at Salem-1
The nuclear industry has historically relied on intermittent ultrasonic test and visual inspections of pressurized water reactor components to identify and manage degradation. While this reactive approach has proven to be effective, imagine a scenario in which the degradation could propagate throughout the reactor internals, making a more proactive measure necessary to avoid a major enterprise risk to the plant. Could a utility identify the onset of degradation within the reactor internals during plant operation? If so, could a repair be developed prior to the next refueling outage to prevent additional, cascading degradation? That is exactly the situation that Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and Westinghouse engineers were able to navigate over the course of the 2019–2020 operating cycle at Salem Unit 1, resulting in a tremendous success for the plant and a historic landmark in the nuclear industry, while earning the team a 2021 Nuclear Energy Institute Top Innovative Practice (TIP) award.
Zhilin Chen, Masao Matsuyama, Shuming Peng, Yang Yang, Yu Li, Shenghan Cheng
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 3 | October 2018 | Pages 246-251
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1462086
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Tritium release behavior in a tungsten sample after exposing to tritium ions with energy about 200 eV created by glow discharge has been studied by both β-ray–induced X-ray spectrometry (BIXS) and imaging plate (IP). The tungsten sample was heated stepwise in a vacuum vessel at temperatures from 400 to 1000 K in experiments, and results obtained from both BIXS and IP measurements showed that the amount of tritium absorbed on the sample surface decreased more than 97% after heating at 800 K. Both intensity and shape of the measured X-ray spectrum have been specified to estimate the change of the tritium depth profile after each heat treatment. Besides, the Monte Carlo Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) code has been introduced to calculate the initial tritium depth profile just after being irradiated by glow discharge. Analysis shows that tritium atoms locate around 3 nm in depth before annealing, and tritium distribution becomes uniform in the near-surface layers (around several nanometers) gradually after heat treatment. At about 800 K, the relative tritium concentration in the near-surface layers reaches its maximum value compared with tritium in the deeper part of the tungsten sample. Then more and more tritium diffuses deeper into the sample as the temperature increases.